Asbestos Air Monitoring, Inspection & Clearance (removal projects)

The purpose of asbestos air monitoring is to safeguard the health of employees and regulatory compliance within the workplace. By conducting asbestos air monitoring, employers undertake a proactive approach to assess and mitigate potential asbestos exposures. This process is essential not only to protect the well-being of workers but also to adhere to the stringent requirements outlined in the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, 2020.

Occupational Health & Safety Act of 1993

Under the legal framework of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993, specifically Act No. 85 of 1993, employers are obligated to provide a safe working environment free from hazards such as asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre known for its heat resistance and durability. It poses significant health risks when its fibres become airborne and are inhaled. Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to severe respiratory diseases. These can include asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Employers must implement comprehensive air monitoring programs to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and mitigate the risks associated with asbestos exposure. These programs involve the systematic sampling and analysis of air samples collected from various locations within the workplace. By quantifying the concentration of airborne asbestos fibres, employers can assess the level of potential exposure and take appropriate measures to mitigate risks.

Occupational Exposure Limit

Air monitoring results serve as a crucial benchmark for evaluating workplace conditions and determining the effectiveness of asbestos control measures. These results are compared against the stipulated Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) for asbestos fibres. They define the maximum permissible concentration of asbestos in the air over a specified period. Exceeding the OEL indicates a potential risk to employee health. This also underscores the need for corrective actions. Improved ventilation, containment measures, or enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) protocols are examples of such actions.

Clearance monitoring is also vital in asbestos management practices. Particularly following abatement or remediation activities. Clearance monitoring involves the meticulous assessment of airborne asbestos levels after the completion of asbestos removal procedures. By verifying that airborne asbestos concentrations have been reduced to acceptable levels and meet regulatory standards, clearance monitoring assures that the work area is safe for reoccupation and minimizes the risk of subsequent exposure to residual asbestos fibres.

Monitoring Strategy:

  • A Minimum of 1 Inspection and Monitoring per week for the removal of Asbestos Cement
    Products (Type 2 Asbestos removal).
  • Daily Inspection and Monitoring for removal of Asbestos Insulation Material (Type 3
    Asbestos removal).
  • Clearance Monitoring and Inspection once all Asbestos Containing Material has been
    removed from the site, including the skip.